In our work, we’ve found that all companies, big or small, struggle with being in control of their own tracking. We’re what you could call “tracking fixers” (or at least we like to call ourselves that). Troubleshooting tracking is only one part of the technical work we provide, but it often plays a larger role than we expect.
Take a recent client of ours, for example. They came to us after installing a new app, one that we found had an intermittent problem with its tracking. If you added a few products to your cart, an “add to cart” event for each item added would have been sent through the Pixel (and Conversion API). No surprise there, right? But that’s not where the problem crept in.
What if you left the site before purchasing any of the items in your cart, then you came back to the site a few days later, and the same products were still in your cart. Little our client know that on your second site visit, their site’s tracking registered the items in your cart (yes, the ones that were previously there) as new add to cart events.
Which means the tracking was over-reporting the add to cart events. Not only did it create this problem, but it creates a related problem: making the add to cart to purchase conversion metric look worse, which could cause a host of other problems for the marketing team.
An issue such as this may not cause immediate or drastic harm, but we don’t advise our clients to use dirty data or to let issues slide. Over reporting your events will muddy your reporting and perception of your advertising performance, and likely will negatively impact remarketing campaigns in the future.
The moral of the story here is to become the master of your own tracking. This means you must know what decisions your apps are trying to make for you and your site’s data. The solution is simple: pay attention to your apps, regulate event tracking on your own terms, and stay in control of your tracking.